Explore the most popular birding trails in South Dakota with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Took the dog with us, nice view, peaceful, and a must do!

It was amazing and nice. The wife thought the water was way to cold for comfort

19 hours ago

We only had 30 minutes to hike so went up for a quick leg stretch (just hiking 15 min in, 15 min out). Got to see the huge cut of the mine, which was really cool and an abundance of deer and wildflowers.

1 day ago

Definitely more moderate than easy, due to unlevel ground and several water crossings. Our 7 year old did fine, but needed adult help in several areas. Gorgeous area - lots of areas for great photos. Biggest issue was LOTS of poison ivy. Entire trail was covered with it - if you watch your footing carefully you can avoid it.

Did this trail in 3 1/2 hours. Amazing views from the top. Bring sun screen!

Nice easy walking trail. Up and back in under 2.5 hours. Beautiful view from the Harney Peak lookout, worth the trek utilizing trail 9

3 days ago

Great family trail! Our four and two and a half year olds did pretty well (though the young one spent about half the return trip on my back). Water crossings are fine if parents are there to help. Scenery is beautiful and pools at the end are a lot of fun. Parking is tough; we waited about ten minutes for someone to leave before getting a spot.-and we didn’t get there until mid afternoon. A great hike!

gorgeous hike! ran into a herd of cattle crossing the river, which was fun to watch.

Great hike and we had fun keeping track of where we were in relation to the top of the mountain. I believe we took trail 9 and it was less busy but still passing people on the trail. Worth it for the view!Bring lots of water and a nice snack to munch on at the top - lots of places to sit and eat. Also I had 4 bars of service! Guess no obstruction to the towers.

beautiful trail but the map shown on AllTrails is NOT ACCURATE. do not try to do this counterclockwise, just go to the trailhead (across the street from the natue education center, which is where the map above says it starts, but it actually doesnt).

scenic driving
6 days ago

Amazing easy-ish hike. You will get wet through multiple crossings and there are some slippery rocks when you get up towards the pools. Quite busy with a mix of ages from old to young. Very clean for a high traffic trail. We did with small kids and a very lazy dog. There is a bit of mud. We got a little rain but it was muddy before the rain. Quite a few dogs on the trail. All were on leashes. A lot of people wore swim suits to swim. Hands down one of the most beautiful drives too.

There were 8 of us and we loved the trail. Temp was 90+ but no shade.Bring plenty of water. The ladder was real interesting going down. Found out my 25 year old son is afraid of ladders. It freaked him out. Enjoy!

6 days ago

do the full trail. and loop up on the medicine trail to see more grass land

Great hike with a gorgeous view at the end. Follow the metal posts with white paint tips - took us a bit of time to figure out that was the trail marker. The ladder wasn’t bad, going down was a little trickier. Take water! It doesn’t seem like a very long hike, but each of us almost went through our 2Ls we had on our backs. It was close to 100degrees with no shade along the way. Enjoy!

Absolutely gorgeous! The views at the top are amazing and walking by the creek was refreshing after doing so many inclines.

There are many river crossings, all had bridges as of July 2018.

There is a ton of poison ivy down by the creek and you can't avoid it, so wear pants and boots if possible.

8 days ago

Beautiful hike. partial shade, well marked.

Great views the whole trip. Make the loop to check out the needles. Bring plenty water in the summer, it’s hot. Some views look similar to Yosemite based on pictures. Bring a swimsuit to swim at top

Well marked, peaceful

It’s an awesome hike, very good exercise. It is just trick to find the trail in some points. I had to use the map several times. I uploaded some pics of the tricky parts you should look for, just pay atention to them and enjoy this cool hike. :)

Awesome hike, slightly overcrowded but I’ve been on much worse. Went up trail #9 and down #4, I think #9 had better scenery and a more gradual incline. If I was to do it again, I’d go up and back down trail #9. But if you want to avoid crowds, #4 had far less people. Bring more water than you think you need.

We started early for a couple of reasons. It was going to be a hot day and we wanted to do multiple hikes in one. It is a solid hike on relatively well marked tails. As with any hike it makes sense to have a map with you. Even the final turn at the peak isn't obvious. In fact, we built a cairn on that corner to create another obvious clue.
It is beautiful and the structure at the top is unique.
We watched a mountain goat graze at the top. The ghost later took a nap in the shade in spite of the hikers.
It did start to get crowded at the top after we had spent over an hour up there. My guess is that many hikers are in the trail by 8 or 9. At 7, we had the trail to ourselves.

Great hike with a natural slide at the end for the older kids. Water shoes/sandals are a must! Trail isn’t well defined so would call it moderate versus easy. Beware of the slippery rocks.

10 days ago

Beautiful trail, but NOT "easy". 8 river crossings and rough terrain make the 1 mile feel more like 2. I would definitely rate this a moderate trail.

Was a great hike very challenging for a newbie like myself but once at the top it was worth it!

Poorly marked. We couldn’t find the trail about a mile in, partially due to lots of downed trees. Ended up turning around after that.

road biking
10 days ago

Awesome Trail. One of my favorite trails in the 15 states I have cycled in. Stunning parks, one after another on the southern portion. Since I don’t see anyway to post pictures, I will post them to my site, cyclingthe50.com.

11 days ago

This was the wife's and my first hike of the year, and it was GORGEOUS. We decided to take our time and enjoy the hike, and brought our 4 year old shepherd lab mix. We made it up in an hour and thirty eight minutes, taking 3 short tests along the way. the views are amazing, and the vegetation is lush in many places. we're not extremely fit, but fairly active and we found this hike, at our leisurely pace, to be between easy and moderate. after a brief lunch at the top, we made it down in and hour and ten minutes, essentially letting our hips and gravity set the pace. The trail itself is very well maintained and easy to follow. This is a must do for a short half day hike or if you're in the area.

Fun little trail!

13 days ago

This is a great easy and has a great view at the end.

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